Thursday, August 7, 2008

Premiere Pro CS3 - Importing Footage

Sometimes even the most basic of functions are difficult when you don't speak the language. Years ago, living in Germany and having a few semesters of college German, getting around town and paying the bills was problematic at times. There were even differences between the "high German" of the north and the stuff I learned in school, and the dialect spoken in the part of the country that I lived in - more of a "country" German. But, you get in there and you learn it. You figure out that zwei and zwo are the same word, and that Tschuss and und Tschuss mean two entirely different things (the latter may get you into significant trouble depending on how may friends you have with you at the time). You don't have much choice.

The same is true for the "language" of software programs. Who knew, prior to getting into this work, that you capture video from a tape, but you import it if it's already been captured somewhere else? Once you learn the language, things start to make sense again.

At NATIA, we didn't have a capture source. Dave held up an ADVC as an exemplar of one of the many possible capture aids. The ADVC, in concept, takes an analog source and digitizes it ... sending the compressed footage (about 5:1) over a Firewire or USB cable to your NLE for processing. For purposes of discussion, we skipped over capturing video and talked about importing clips. 

Once the project is created, importing is easy. Either select File>Import or right-click in the bin and select Import.

Creating your project was hard enough. Importing clips is the easy part, sort of. There are the usual codec problems with AVI files. VirtualDub can help eliminate this problem. VOB files won't go in directly, but you can play with the file extension and get them in as MPEGs (just make sure that your project settings are matched to your source). If you're working with still shots, you can bring those in as well (do yourself a favour and number them sequentially).

Now that our files are loaded in the bin, we'll look at getting still images out for further processing in Photoshop.

Until then, enjoy.

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